Contents

Trans-substantial Catholics

Watch this. What are the priests doing? Catholic Litmus Test If you are Catholic, then I hope for the sake of your soul you said he is welcoming Christ bodily into the world. If you didn’t you aren’t looking too […]


Poor Hanno

According to the pop-psychologist-pseudo-science writer Malcolm Gladwell in his magnum lite-opus, the Tipping Point we as a species need risk takers. Individuals who are willing to put it all on the line in pursuit of a goal will, if they […]


Intelligence and Happiness?

A while ago, the Inquisition pondered the nature of intelligence, and whether a certain outlook or attendant mental abilities are guides to or from happiness. This has been obliquely in the news of late…


Buried by the Sea

Its odd. Most graveyards in Connemara appear to be near water, if not actually right on the coast. Why? West Galway, or Connemara, has a lot of unused space. Admittedly, much of the land Connemara is industrially and agriculturally useless, […]


Cycling Two Abreast

Cycling two abreast in Ireland is legal, a protected practice, and it is safer.


Indoors / Outdoors (Defuse)

A talk given by The Inquisition at Defuse, on Wednesday 7th November 2012, as part of Designweek in Dublin, Ireland


Nürnburg’s Extra Bombs

Nürnburg got ripped to shreds by Bomber Harris’ boys. By how much appears to be open to debate.


Law & Morality

The preface to HLA Hart’s publication of his 1961 lecture series on the meeting of law and morality is as prevalent today as it ever was.


Foy – The Bodiless Head

A bodiless head is revered as being Saint Foy, who died a cruel death.


Coffee Haters

There are people out there who pretend to like coffee. Coffee Haters – you have been warned.


False Flags 2

False flag, covert ops by Americans against Americans? Sounds crazy, and so it was deemed.


Plastic 55 Years Ago

55 years ago Roland Barthes considered the importance of plastic and what it meant, as a substance and a symbol.


Cesare Borgia’s Party

The Pope, his son and fifty prostitutes – Cesare Borgia’s party.


Marriage – A Potted History

Marriage is thought by many to be a fixed rite, one which is immovable and inflexible. The truth is that it has not always seemed so…


Blinking Morse

The world was shocked when a victim of torture started blinking morse. The story of a US aviator captured in Vietnam.


Synecdoche

Synecdoche is a powerful, expressive linguistic device


The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Contents Page
The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Semper Quarens - Always Looking

Anybody’s Son

A trio of soldiers parading in Moscow in the 1980s

Soldiers in Cold War-era Red Square

In 1983 the National Film Board of Canada commissioned a film-maker called Gwynne Dyer to make a miniseries called War: A Commentary. The series is 8 hours long in full.

Episode two, entitled Anybody’s Son Will Do, focuses on what Gwynne Dwyer referred to as the lack of a natural instinct in most young men to kill or die for someone else’s ideas.

The film opens with the film-maker’s thought on the re-programming and dehumanising regimes involved in the training of new recruits. The film-maker is ex-navy and so has ome personal experience of the procedures. The idea is posited that military training is aimed controlling young men and making them do things that are inherently unnatural, such as conquering phobias, acting in unison and, ultimately, killing. Of course, the film takes it as a given that killing is unnatural, although evidence from the animal kingdom does not necessarily bear this out.

The film follows the training procedure in the US military that indoctrinates these young men to bring them to this point. In doing so it becomes a film not just about the military, but in turn about the wider uses of psychological conditioning and influence, and our susceptibility to act outside of our own will.

Servility is not inherent in us. We are all predisposed to find our our way through life, relishing the challenge. One might view the movie as an anti-war declaration, but it can also be understood from a wider historical perspective. The film describes more modern incarnations of doctrinal mechanisms that have existed in perpetuity – witness the medieval pages and squires or the romantic obligations of novice samurai.

However, the one thing that does stand out as a legacy since pre-evolutionary times is the changing from being an individual to performing as part of a group, not unlike the aformentioned chimpanzees. Everything done is for the good of this group, the basis of the military; he’s got my back etc. Recruits are stripped of distinguishing haircuts, clothes, jewellery and more. The army is a single entity, full of blanks.

What is particularly eye-opening to the non-military viewer, is how the regimented life is designed to control the recruit, and not primarily to have them performing at their peak. Or maybe we all guessed it, but just needed to hear someone else say it…

As the man says, “If I can train that guy, I can get him to do anything I want him to do.”

Part One of Anybody’s Son Will Do

Bibliography
The Wikipedia entry for the series, War
The IMDB entry for the series, War
Available from Amazon – War, The Lethal Custom
The film is serialised on YouTube
Love and Murder Among the Chimps

This article was posted by on Monday, June 20th, 2011 at 21:34.
It is archived in Culture, History and tagged , , , .

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